CHARLESTON, WV- West Virginia's massive shortage of classroom teachers would nearly double if the proposed budget framework being offered by the Republican-led Legislature is implemented.
Governor Jim Justice announced today that a GOP reduction of $50 million to the State Aid to Schools formula could mean 680 professional educators would lose their jobs along with 425 service personnel. Statewide, it is estimated that West Virginia's children already are attending schools where there is currently a need for 700 full time teachers.
"We can't put enough qualified teachers in our classrooms right now and if this plan from the Republicans is allowed to go through you can just start shutting down and boarding up more schools," said Governor Justice.
"I've been telling you we just can't afford to cripple an already dying patient," Governor Justice added. "We quite simply can't do this to our children. Education has to be at the center of our work to turn this state around, cutting open another artery like this proposed budget would do is just going to bleed-out our future.
"I know in my heart this isn't what West Virginians really want," Governor Justice said. "We are teetering on the cusp of catastrophe here. Slashing budgets for our K-12 schools, our higher education institutions and our neediest residents simply isn't the answer. People need to call their lawmakers now and let them know this is a fatal approach to solving our problems."
Earlier this week Governor Justice highlighted what the GOP budget cuts would do to Higher Education and the health care emergency that would be created by reductions to Medicaid/DHHR.